Author Topic: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet  (Read 818 times)

Offline mmalmeida

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Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« on: March 14, 2017, 01:54:05 pm »
Consider the scenario where people receiving an alarm notification are currently not connected to the internet.
They will not receive any email/android notification that the intrusion alarm is ringing.

What is the most appropriate solution for this scenario?
I am assuming something like:
- If notification is not received in X seconds, send SMS
- If sending by SMS, is using its internal GSM backup the way to go? Or is it preferable to use an external service like Twilio?

What would you recommend?

Offline rafale77

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Re: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 02:39:28 pm »
The best solution for this is on your router: have a fallback WAN. It can be a cellular or a secondary ISP. You can setup the router would send you a notification when the main internet connection dropped. The alarm would still be transmitted.
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Offline Z-Waver

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Re: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 09:16:50 am »
For the desired level of reliability, the appropriate solution is a local bell/siren and dedicated alarm monitoring.

Not only is the monitoring service always there waiting to manage alarms, they also raise an alarm if the system fails to report it's availability at any time like an internet or cellular outage. They further notify not just you the home owner, but also the police, fixed dedicated 24/7 available people to address an intrusion.

I'd recommend against trying to use a smartphone as an alarm system. What happens if the phone breaks, or cellular service is interrupted? It's a poor home alarm that stops working when you enter a parking garage.

Addressing notifications specifically, You could use the Vera Alerts app and plugin to simultaneously notify by multiple channels. Or if you think SMS is the most reliable, make all notifications via SMS.

Offline rafale77

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Re: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 10:47:48 am »
Agree on the local bell/siren. I am lukewarm on the alarm monitoring.
I found it to be very reliable yet mostly useless: The only thing it does is to try to call you and have you decide what to do. If the call does not go through after a given amount of time, they call your local police office (in the US at least) usually much too late to do anything. Essentially the alarm monitoring only works if your home internet connection works and you cell phone works. It is no different than an SMS/phone call alert your system can send you. Having had the monitoring system, I have never had a use case where it could/would have prevented a burglary. It did get me to pay a few fines to my city police office though.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 09:16:56 pm by rafale77 »
112 zwave nodes, 8 zigbee nodes, 231 devices, 17 apps, 100 scenes on a Vera Plus linked with Echo and HomeKit through bridges

Offline Z-Waver

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Re: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 11:58:27 am »
You need to try a different service. Decent alarm monitoring services use a phone line and a cellular backup to monitor. As I said, they alarm if the system is not reachable, as in the phone line being cut or the cellular service not available. They're not dependent on the internet.

Also, they'll call whomever you specify. If that's the police, they'll notify police within a minute or two, after trying to verify that it isn't a false alarm.

Offline rafale77

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Re: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 09:41:06 pm »
Ok phone line, is internet to me since it is either VOIP or, when it isn't, it would be ADSL which goes through the phone line. These days they are one and the same. The fallback to cellular data can be done through your router. So you can get notifications and SMS from the vera even if my internet/phone line is disrupted. You can also get notification from the router when my ISP has an interruption.
The question being why pay a monitoring company to call you or whoever you want when you can have your home call you directly?

The verification that it isn't a false alarm is where it fails. It typically takes too long. And when they would call me, how did I know whether it was a false alarm? Unless I am home, which then means the monitoring is not needed, I have to check my system to see which sensors were triggered and check my cameras. Sometimes I would have to call neighbors to go take a look before confirming. I can then decide whether or not to call law enforcement myself, why would I need to ask the monitoring company to make the call for me? The notifications can go to multiple people just the same. My opinion the alarm monitoring is that in best cases, it is equivalent to a self monitoring with fallback and most of the time an expensive annoyance. It may buy you some insurance discount however.

The OP is asking how to setup a fallback for notifications in case of internet failure. My answer is SMS using a router with a cellular fallback. One can find cheap ($20) cellular modems with prepaid cellular SIM. The dual WAN routers vary a lot in price. I think I got a cradlepoint for ~$80.

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Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Notification if RECEIVING is not connected to internet
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 11:38:24 pm »
Most people get their internet via cable modems so the internet and phone aren't synonymous. Even on DSL, which I am, analog modems/fax can work while the DSL system is offline. I can (and have) use my land line to complain about the DSL in said landline being out.

Many security systems have a cellular module to fall back on. Pick up a very cheap prepaid plan as the usage for security systems is pretty minimal.